Street recipe: Turkish doughnuts with rose hip syrup

ELEGANT: Donuts get a sophisticated twist, served with rose hip syrup.
ELEGANT: Donuts get a sophisticated twist, served with rose hip syrup.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

Note: Dried rose hips can generally be found at Middle Eastern and Indian markets. Rose water can be found at Middle Eastern and select gourmet and well-stocked markets. This recipe makes about 1 3/4 cups rose hip syrup, more than is needed for the doughnuts. The extra syrup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Rose hip syrup

1 cup water

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup coarsely crushed dried rose hips

1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds (removed from crushed pods)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup rose water

1. In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, bring the water, sugar, rose hip tea and cardamom to a gentle simmer and cook slowly until the sugar is dissolved and the rose hips have softened, 12 to 15 minutes.

2. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture just to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and rose water. Set aside to cool while the doughnuts are made, then strain before using. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate until needed.


Doughnuts and assembly

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) flour

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground green cardamom

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter

2 eggs, divided

Oil for frying

Rose hip syrup

Sour cream or yogurt, berries and jam for serving

1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

2. In a medium, heavy-bottom pot, combine the water, sugar and butter. Bring to a boil over high heat, making sure the butter is fully melted.

3. As soon as the water is boiling and the butter is melted, add the flour mixture all at once. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together in one lump, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, into the mixture, stirring constantly. Be sure that the first yolk is almost entirely absorbed before adding the second yolk. The dough should be light and soft, but stiff enough to form into a doughnut shape; if the dough is overly stiff, add egg white a little at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. Stir constantly until the mix comes together as a glossy dough, 4 to 6 minutes.

4. Dampen your hands with cold water and divide the dough into 8 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball (wet your hands if the dough begins to stick). On a firm work surface, punch a hole through the center of each ball with your finger. Widen the hole slightly with your finger to form a doughnut. Continue with each ball of dough.

5. Fill a deep pot with oil to a depth of about 3 inches. Heat the oil until it shimmers and reaches 350 degrees on a thermometer.

6. Drop the doughnuts, a few at a time, into the oil and fry until the outside of each is golden and the center is cooked through and not doughy, 7 to 10 minutes; they will be soft, almost pillowy, in texture. Strain the doughnuts, draining any excess oil, then immediately dunk them into the rose hip syrup.

7. Drain and serve the doughnuts with sour cream or yogurt, berries and jam on the side and with a little syrup drizzled over the doughnuts.

Each servings: 516 calories; 6 grams protein; 63 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 28 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 136 mg. cholesterol; 247 mg. sodium.